Most people are braced for the worst when a St. Louis County grand jury issues its findings in the Michael Brown case. The jurors will decide whether Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson will face charges for Brown’s fatal shooting. Businesses and schools are making contingency plans, and motorists are planning alternative routes should the riots and violence that followed Brown’s shooting reignite.
But let’s pray that the dire predictions never come to pass. The family of Michael Brown and all responsible leaders are calling for calm and order, and that needs to be the reaction whatever the grand jury decides.
A lot of people have already made up their minds in this case; some of them won’t be happy unless Wilson is charged with murder. But those opinions are based on bits and pieces of information that may or may not be factual or complete. The grand jurors will have heard all the evidence in the case and are the best judges of whether criminal charges are warranted.
Not everyone trusts our criminal justice system, but given the national attention on this case, we believe that every effort is being made to be fair. Our justice system is based on solid principles, prime among them that people are innocent until proven guilty. Whether people agree with the grand jury’s findings, it’s important that everyone respect the process.